Do you ever feel like you are carrying a load of baggage you would love to drop, but don’t know how? Are there fears that plague you, a past that haunts you, or doubts that keep you from living fully alive. I have felt the weight of that kind of baggage in my own life.
There is a lot of bad baggage that can drag us down in life. It comes in all sizes, styles and colors. Some of it comes with rollers to presumably make it easier for you to drag around. It’s still baggage. So I have identified a few of the most common kinds baggage we drag around and shared a few steps I am learning that can help us kick that baggage to the curb and live free again. It takes courage to take action but every step you take lightens your load and opens the door to joyful living. Believe and act on these simple truths.
1. Feeling responsible for things you aren’t responsible for and cannot change is bad baggage. Drop it!
- You cannot change the behavior of other people.
- You cannot fix relationships.
- You cannot make people like you.
You can be a positive influence in the middle of any of these situations, but the outcome is not your responsibility. Taking on a responsibility you have no control over is like carrying a loaded steamer trunk on your head while trying to jump high hurdles. Drop the trunk!
2. Allowing fear to control your life is bad baggage.
- Fear may be the most heavy, paralyzing baggage of all. Most of the time our fears are no more reasonable than those of Chicken Little. Remember his fear? “The sky is falling the sky is falling.” No it isn’t!
- When I was paralyzed by fear, my counselor asked, “What is the very worst that could happen?” Of course my answer was, “I could die.” His response was, “and then what would happen?” As a follower of Christ, I was reminded that because of the hope of eternal life, even death has lost it’s poisonous sting. Most of our fears are unfounded, why let them steal our lives?
3. Clinging to guilt is bad baggage.
- This baggage was supposed to be checked at the curb called “The Cross.” Jesus died to take the guilt from our shoulders; why would choose to carry it around?
- There is a sweet old song I sang as a boy. “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.” When it comes to guilt, I often take my burdens to the Lord and then pick them up again as I leave. This baggage doesn’t even belong to you. Drop it at God’s house. Leave it there.
4. Bitterness is DEADLY baggage.
There is no gentle way to say this. Bitterness Kills! The oft used quote, “Holding onto bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” is true. This baggage follows you into relationships, grows in secret places until it destroys, not the person you hold bitterness against, it destroys you. I beg you to drop bitterness as you approach this Christmas season. Dropping this baggage is the secret to peace in your heart and may just be a lifesaver.
Once, I went to see a therapist. Okay, I actually went several times, but on this particular visit he smiled, leaned back in his chair and said, “Ken, people come in here all the time carrying a lunch-box full of responsibilities and worries. Counseling and sometimes medication helps them deal with the load they carry and one day they leave happy and contented. Because they feel so well they go home, throw away the lunch-box and buy a suitcase and pack IT with responsibilities and worries and a hectic pace of life. They never leave room for rest, recovery, love, or life.” He leaned forward, and whispered“Don’t do that!”
So I traded in the steamer trunk I was hauling around for the lunch-box I carried as a kid and I am finding that…
If you have luggage full of fear, bitterness, guilt and anxiety, there is no room in there for blessings. You will be blind to the sun shining on autumn leaves and the healing in a child’s smile. You will not have the strength to reach out to someone who needs to see the joy in your life. Unpack some stuff today. Throw away the steamer trunk and then take a deep breath and look around you. You will be amazed at the joy, light and opportunity you will see. You can live again!
Question: What baggage is dragging you down?
Have you ever experienced the thrill of leaving it behind? Please share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.